Just in case you haven't been paying attention to what's up between Facebook and iOS 14 from Apple in the last few months, let's catch you up now...
You know, in case you were distracted by, say, a pandemic, election chaos, I've got you covered here.
If you've followed me for more than 5 minutes, you know I'm a big fan of the 80/20 principle (Pareto's principle). Big picture - only 20% of your inputs or actions will 'always' produce 80% of your meaningful results.
In that vein, I'm focused on the 20% of things you need to do to prepare for the coming onslaught of privacy changes. Long story short - the rest of the world is kind of catching up to GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in the EU.
Social Media Marketing, and most PPC (Pay Per Click) marketing, is Permission-Based Marketing. Someone clicking a link and entering their email in exchange for a free training or download used to be enough to signal consent and permission.
And, thanks to some marketers not acting in good faith around these policies, more policies continue to emerge.
So, in light of that 80/20 promise, let's talk about the fastest way to green-light that permission.
Step 1: Have a double-optin. This means that people enter their email address for the freebie, then they CONFIRM that email address before you send them more. The language in that confirmation email also includes something about getting future marketing emails.
Step 2: A simple agreement check-box on your opt-in form. Many page builders and email autoresponders have templates or pre-done solutions for this. Don't overthink, just get something in place.
Now, for some Facebook and iOS 14-specific recommendations.
Note that Facebook has several articles about this in their Facebook for Business Knowledge Base. You can start with This One. Most of the language positions small business owners as being in danger of extinction versus 'goliath' Apple. (Let's be honest, Facebook is a goliath as well.)
Yet, the information is factual. So, there are some steps needed to prepare your web tracking and ad tracking, specifically, for these updates.
Let's dive in...
Facebook and iOS 14 #1: Verify Your Domain
Follow the process inside your Business Manager to Verify Your Domain.
Verifying your Domain (or Domains) is a way to let Facebook know you are a 'real' business.
This allows for accountability and shows you accept the responsibility of their policies.
This should only take a couple of minutes as long as you have access to your registrar or can log into your site (WordPress or otherwise).
There are 3 options: DNS (usually through your registrar), Meta tags (log into the 'admin' area of your site), or Upload HTML file. The HTML file upload is the most complicated for non-tech people, because it requires access via your control panel, where (all) the files for your entire site are stored .
I don't know about you, but I'm always a little terrified that I'll actually break something when I mess around in the CPanel.
So, with that in mind, I recommend doing what you can with the DNS or Meta tags.
Facebook and iOS 14 #2: Define And Prioritize Your 8 Conversion Events
This is one of the biggest changes coming when this update series is complete. You'll only be able to optimize your ad campaigns for 8 (EIGHT) events per domain. Facebook is calling this "Aggregated Event Measurement."
One relief here is that if you have more than one domain, you may have different events for different domains.
For example, if you have a service-based coaching business and also sell physical products on a Shopify store... As long as they are on two separate domains, you can track different events.
You can still track and run reports for more. But, you'll need to select the eight that matter most to your business and prioritize them for ad tracking.
For most of my clients and students (coaches, consultants and course creators), this might include:
View Content (with without naming variables for categories/topics)
- Lead (or Subscribe)
- Schedule (for a call booked)
- Add to Cart (or Initiate Check-out)
For many of us, this may be enough.
If you have a trial membership or program, "Start trial" is another possible event for you.
There may be many others that you currently track, but you likely aren't optimizing an ad for them. This is about the events you can use to optimize ads.
Now, e-commerce is a bit more detailed in tracking.
- View content or product
- Contact (email/chat/etc)
- Add to cart
- Initiate check-out
- (These are separate in ecommerce as people typically add items to their cart, then initiate check-out.)
- Add payment info
And they MAY include:
- Add to wish list
- Customize product
Depending on your tools, there may be more...so just choose the EIGHT that matter most to you, and prioritize them in your account for each domain.
Facebook and iOS 14 #3: Attribution Window Is Changing
The standard attribution window has been 28 days.
Bottom line: that's changing to 7 days.
Many of the security changes from Apple (with iOS 14), and other softwares, are not allowing the cookies and beacons used for tracking to stay active for more than 7 days.
Thus, the change in the attribution window.
What does this actually mean for your business?
Well, let's say you have a coaching or consulting business. Then, let's say it typically takes about 20 days for someone to go from Top of Funnel (TOF) event, like becoming a lead to a buyer (purchase) in the Bottom of your Funnel (BOF).
In the past, the ad that got you the lead might also claim the purchase in the BOF.
There's a LOT of discussion on attribution. People connect from different devices and may click on ads on Facebook, Google networks, and other networks in the process of their journey to become a client or buyer.
Each of those platforms wants to take 'credit' for the purchase, and you can usually choose how to manage this.
For the 80/20 approach of this post, it's simple. The Facebook ad in question has 7 days to track further results, then it's done.
The rest can be tracked in Analytics software on Facebook and Google. Easy enough. Attribution is a whole other can of worms that we won't dive deeper into today.
Just know that the window is changing, and that's happening now...and across the next few weeks/months.
Facebook and iOS 14 #4 Enable First Party Cookies
This one is inside the settings of your Pixel.
Here's the easiest way to get there:
From Ads Manager, click the 'grid' menu just below the 'home' icon, and choose "Events Manager."
Next, click "Settings" in the Pixel menu. Then, make sure First Part Cookies are ENABLED.
Facebook and iOS 14 #5 API Connections
Now, let's not over-complicate this one.
API stands for Application Programming Interface. To keep it really simple, this is when two devices or softwares are connected in such a way that they can communicate directly.
You do not need to understand how API connections work to use them. Some people refer to this as server-side connections.
Basically, you are making a direct connection between your software. and Facebook to report actions that occur.
For all of the software you use, make a direct connection if this is possible.
Some examples might be:
- WordPress website (via theme settings or plugin)
- Funnel and Page Builder tools
While there are dozens of recommendations on what to do, these are my top 5 to protect your business. These 5 will help you track the essential events and activities so you know if your ads are 'working.'
You can also check out this Facebook Live video I recently did on this topic:
Lastly, after you make all these changes, test and re-test. As marketers, we test all the time. In this case, pay special attention to testing your previously chosen top 8 conversion events to track in ads and your audiences.
I hope this article helps you feel a bit more confident in your prep for the coming 'Apple-geddon.' There is always something we can do to help reduce our risk and improve our chances of success.
Join the conversation, and let me know the other ways you are preparing for the coming privacy changes. If you need help with your sales and marketing growth, book a call and see how I might be able to help.